Rheumatoid Arthritis caused inactivity in more than 40% of patients; Research

Joint painResearchers have found that many arthritis patients remain physically inactive.

This research has been done by Jungwha Lee, PhD, of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, and colleagues, and published online in the January 26 issue of journal of Arthritis Care and Research.

Researchers have found that more than 40% patients of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) live an inactive life. Researchers have suggested that physical activity is significant for the flexibility of joints. Moreover, the research has also shown that improved balance and strength, and decreased pain can also be achieved by physical activity. It was previously thought that medication and rest are best for the treatment.

“Our results suggest that public health initiatives need to address the lack of motivation to exercise and to promote the benefits of physical activity to reduce the prevalence of inactivity in those with rheumatoid arthritis,” said lead researcher Jungwha Lee, an assistant professor in the department of preventive medicine at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago.

According to Lee, physical inactivity is the main concern in the patients of RA.

Researchers have found that 42% of the patients didn’t take part in the moderate-to-vigorous physical activity program consisted of minimum 10 minutes during a week. They found that 53% of the patients weren’t motivated for physical activity and 49% didn’t think that exercise would be beneficial for them.

“Low activity motivation and lack of belief in the benefits of exercise are actually the primary reasons for physical inactivity in the general population, so it is interesting that rheumatoid arthritis patients are actually not very different from their non-rheumatoid arthritis counterparts,” Dr. Jon Giles, an assistant professor of medicine in the division of rheumatology at Columbia University’s College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City, said.


Jungwha Lee PhD, MPH, Dorothy Dunlop PhD, Linda Ehrlich-Jones PhD RN, Pamela Semanik PhD, RN, Jing Song MS, Larry Manheim PhD, Rowland W. Chang MD, MPH, (2012). The public health impact of risk factors for physical inactivity in adults with rheumatoid arthritis. Arthritis Care and Research, DOI: 10.1002/acr.21582

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